06/06/2011 MM: "On Wedge"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Making Magic, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
This one seems extremely playable...so why does the RBW one suck in comparison?  *sigh*
This guy seems perfect for an Infect EDH deck... which is probably why he was printed. ;) Still, this was a cool article, I always enoy reading about the reasoning behind decisions to "break" the no-new-mechanics rule for cards printed outside new sets.
This one seems extremely playable...so why does the RBW one suck in comparison?  *sigh*



Good things often seem to suck when you compare them to better things. 

IMO it was a great move printing new cards in the commander decks since as Maro said it let them do something they haven't really been able to do up until now, print legendary wedge cards. Plus since commander is more of a multi player format it let them design with that in mind and I've liked what they've done with it.

Overall I like the idea of new cards showing up outside of boosters so long as it makes sense for it to be done. 
Ah, so that's what happened to Duel Masters - it bombed in America but is still going overseas.  I'm vaguely glad - I never got into the game because it looked like it was half Magic and half Yugioh, which was way more Yugioh than I could stand (the card names in particular were good at making me cringe), but I'm always sad when a creative project fails so I'm pleased to know this one has stuck around, however slightly.
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
The Mimeoplasm underwhelms me a bit.  I really think it should have just had Imprint.  Any reason this design couldn't work?  (Note: I'm changing the name because I don't think "The" really works with this; I liked the idea at first but the design was too generic and flexible to make this seem like a unique entity, so I'm tacking on a proper name.)

Svogthir's Mimeoplasm
Legendary Creature - Ooze, 2BGU, 0/0
Imprint - As Svogthir's Mimeoplasm enters the battlefield, you may exile up to two target creature cards from graveyards.
Svogthir's Mimeoplasm has all activated and triggered abilities of the imprinted cards and gets +X/+y, where X is the combined power of all the imprinted cards and Y is their combined toughness.

(For the moment I'm not having it copy static abilities, since those are the least frequently awesome and since they include CDAs which cause all manner of rules problems.  Really, Wizards ought to just find a way to isolate CDAs from other static abilities, maybe print them in red and rule that they don't actually count as part of the text box or something.)
My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
Technically, it could work, but it's more math and more confusion for a significantly lower benefit--the P/T is harder to calculate and remember and a great number of players aren't solid on the differences between the various kinds of abilities.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

I talked to someone at my local game store a few weeks ago about this product.  Apparently, they pre-sold every copy the day Commander was announced.  That's good news for Wizards but not so much for everyone else.  My understanding is attempts to get more copies of Commander where turned down.

If this is the norm, there will be the same protests that were heard for the other one-offs.  One shouldn't offer new cards unless one is willing to sell as many as are in demand.  My guess is Wizards has no desire to undersell their product, so this will be eventually fixed, but this could become a problem.
"Until then, may you dream of awesome wedge legendary creatures."

Wedgendary? Wink
The Mimeoplasm underwhelms me a bit.  I really think it should have just had Imprint.  Any reason this design couldn't work?  (Note: I'm changing the name because I don't think "The" really works with this; I liked the idea at first but the design was too generic and flexible to make this seem like a unique entity, so I'm tacking on a proper name.)



There is too much borken involved in the alternative route, and not enough happening in yours (imprinting certain subsets of the cards' text). On the one hand, the imprint concept underwhelms because it means you HAVE to have activated or triggered abilities, and so it doesn't really CLONE, and is more ARTIFACT-y in imprinting. This is a Clone variant, make no mistake. On the other hand, it would be too powerful to grab Progenitus or Emrakul on the one (if you can get it fast enough) and something to make it indestructible (even though it won't stop Hallowed Burial or edicts).

This one means you can mix and match which two creatures you want: the body of one, and the power of the other. And it's based on that creature's power. Ever wanted to see a Boros Swiftblade as a 7/8? Just pull out your opponent's Ball Lightning (try not doing it the other way around...). There are nastier combos that get better when you get the right body with a great deal more power and cheaply. Blue and Red can easily mill through their library to dumb tons of useful creatures, and with tyhe heavy power component of Red's toys with the evasion of Blue's toys (but typically not the inverse), a single element combining these along with the efficiency of cost of throwing in a Green toy here and there means you can get some strong stuff going. Such a deck should easily favor unblockables and fliers with fatty utility cards (like Krosan Tusker and other cyclers!). And that's just using your own graveyard.

C'mon, Will, think a little!

"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Great article as always I like seeing insight behind the scenes on design of magic cards

Side note: I understand what your saying with communication, but I still don't know if I can believe it (the "i read eveything") because I've actually asked you a couple legitimate interesting design questions on your tumblr, and alas there is no answer. I would imagine you would answer questions like that of the ones I proposed. Maybe it just involves luck, and being lucky enough to become answered or am I just totally off here?
Edit: and I don't want to be like , "oh MaRo doesn't answer my questions" but dang I thought those were not too bad tumblr questions...heh :p -na I understand you can't answer all of them and it's cool

Still good article nonetheless
I'm really likin how wizards is treating the commander format and products accordingly, keep up the good work lol looks nice
Ever wanted to see a Boros Swiftblade as a 7/8?



Quicksilver Gargantuan can pretty much do that already.  Actually the Mimeoplasm will seldom be much different in its implications than that, apart from the fact that you can't have several of them and the targets are in graveyards instead of on the field.  (And it's cheaper, but five mana in three colors is only somewhat less difficult than seven mana in one color.)  The card has some possibilities, but it underwhelms me compared to what it could have been.

Blue and Red can easily mill through their library to dumb tons of useful creatures



Not that you can play Red in The Mime's commander deck....

C'mon, Will, think a little!



I am not interested in operating on a small scale....

My New Phyrexia Writing Credits My M12 Writing Credits
As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
Aw, man. After the buildup of mentioning Meld, and the attempts to make it work, I was hoping Mimeoplasm would work better than that. It really is just a Quicksilver Gargantuan
I'd really hoped they'd found a way to make "copy two creatures at once" work properly. Quicksilver Elemental and Myr Welder are still the closest we've got there.

I mean, y'know, don't get me wrong - Quicksilver Gargantuan is fun an' all. It's good with all sorts of things, from Spikeshot Elder and Plague Stinger to Clockwork Dragon and Boros Swiftblade. Mimeoplasm is fun with the same things, except it needs a 6-power creature in a graveyard. (At least it doesn't need both its targets to be in the same graveyard.)

But it's not really anything new, and its flavour is clearly a stretch trying to make it a Legend. So... yeah, I'm not all that impressed.

Maybe I will be once I get to play with it. I guess it's nice to have another graveyard-Clone; Body Double and Dimir Doppelganger were pretty lonely compared to all the Clone-from-the-battlefield cards.

(EDIT: Yeah, willpell's design needs to add "and keyword abilities". Otherwise it gets Bushido but not First Strike, which is just crazily confusing.)




As for new cards in non-booster products: I don't much mind. I think it's broadly good as a way to get certain cards printed if a set fails to come along for them. I'm happy to buy certain cards as singles though, as long as their secondary price doesn't go too high. I don't know what the singles price for the new legends will stabilise at,  but I imagine it could be reasonably low if bunches of these are being opened by dealers to sell off the Sol Rings and Lightning Greaves.
The Mimeoplasm underwhelms me a bit.  I really think it should have just had Imprint.  Any reason this design couldn't work?  (Note: I'm changing the name because I don't think "The" really works with this; I liked the idea at first but the design was too generic and flexible to make this seem like a unique entity, so I'm tacking on a proper name.)

Svogthir's Mimeoplasm
Legendary Creature - Ooze, 2BGU, 0/0
Imprint - As Svogthir's Mimeoplasm enters the battlefield, you may exile up to two target creature cards from graveyards.
Svogthir's Mimeoplasm has all activated and triggered abilities of the imprinted cards and gets +X/+y, where X is the combined power of all the imprinted cards and Y is their combined toughness.

(For the moment I'm not having it copy static abilities, since those are the least frequently awesome and since they include CDAs which cause all manner of rules problems.  Really, Wizards ought to just find a way to isolate CDAs from other static abilities, maybe print them in red and rule that they don't actually count as part of the text box or something.)



But without static abilities, your Mimeoplasm won't actually be able to get any good keywords on it. The actual mimeoplasm is awesome with Akroma. This mimeoplasm doesn't really do a lot with Akroma. I personally think this execution is the closest we'll ever get to Meld.

Also, I think some credit should go to Sutured Ghoul as another attempt to make a sort-of Meld.

As far as printing cards goes, I think it's a great idea...for Commander. I don't think it's necessary for Duel Decks. Maybe Archenemy and Planechase would've benefited from original designs. I don't know, that depends on whether or not the design teams of those products ran into serious problems because of it. But, looking at the cards I've seen from the set so far, abandoning this unwritten law allows Wizards to print cards that would be silly in an actual set but make a lot of sense in a multiplayer set.

76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
Finally, a use for those unplayable leviathans, and a cool way to cheat into play the playable ones

I like the idea of Meld. In modern magic, would it have looked something like this?

Meld -
Sorcery (R)
Imprint - choose two target creatures you control and exile one of them. Put X +1/+1 counters on the other creature where X is the power of the exiled creature.
As long as the exiled card is a creature card, the other creature has that card's abilities, creature types and colors in addition to its own.

PS. I think most people are calling three-color non-wedge groups 'shards' and not 'arcs' now.
Phyrexian Dreadnought anyone? Play it, dont pay the cost, its 12 points of power in the Bin. Combine with something with tons of Keywords, and - blammo! - huge Creature.
[c]Forest[/c] gives you Forest
Printing new cards outside of sets: I think it's a very good idea for 'alternate rules' products like Commander, Archenemy, Planechase, etc. For these products you could make cards you'd be reluctant to print in sets. I think that should be the guide.


This one seems extremely playable...so why does the RBW one suck in comparison?  *sigh*



Because this one is the primary and that one was the secondary.
The WotC policy regarding promos is very sound and let me just say that I am glad you have it. It's okay to relax it with regard to fixed products like Commander but keep away from convention promos.

UDE offered promos at Darkmoon Faires for the WoW miniatures game and it took them less than a year to release a broken one : Mortimer the Malign, only available to players doing Darkmoon Faires, that became an instant 3-of in one tournament-worthy warband (to understand what this means: a warband has exactly 3 characters in WoW minis... this means that people were actually just playing 3 copies of the promo and this was a deck). Many would say, in fact, that is was the top tier band in the game.
Are we doing the right thing? I'll be honest in saying that I think so, but I'm not 100%. The thing I do know, though, is that the key to keeping Magic healthy long term is the willingness of R&D to try things out. As I often like to say, the greatest risk to Magic is taking no risks. I'm very curious to hear the feedback to today's column, because I'd love to hear what all of you think about having new cards in a non-booster product. Is this something we should do more of? I'm very curious to your feedback.

Sure! As long as the product is easy to get and the cards aren't tournament-viable (so that they're reasonably cheap on the secondary market). I'm all for more multiplayer-focused cards.


I'm a bit sad that you can't just pick up the Commander decks and use them to play Archenemy. Join force, Death by Dragons and other political cards would be devastating for the archenemy.
Great article overall, and I like the design discussion.  However, the preview was very anticlimactic.  No discussion of possible card combos, or idealized hypothetical game states wherein this card is suddenly awesome?  Get players excited about the preview card itself, not just the set as a whole.  How about this?

I've got out Warped Devotion and Equilibrium, and my empty-handed opponent controls an Akroma, Angel of Wrath.  I cast The Mimeoplasm, targeting Akroma with Equilibrium.  Akroma returns to its owner's hand, and thanks to Warped Devotion, gets promptly discarded.  The Mimeoplasm then resolves, and copies Akroma for abilities and gets +1/+1 counters according to someone else's Mortivore.  Note also that both of those cards are exiled, and can't be later reanimated by my opponents.  Sure, quite a contrived example, but lots of fun!
I own a brick and mortar store.  As a huge fan of Multiplayer, Commander, Wedges, and an uber-Johnny everything I've heard about the Commander Decks THRILLS me.  As someone who relies on MtG to put food on the table, what this set represents scares me to death.

Every From-The-Vault and Duel-Deck that comes out is usually a big earner for me, I'm largely in favor of these products.  But Planechase and Archenemy both were far less good for my bottom line because of the fact that they contain several unique products, yet I can only buy them in sets of 1 of each.  I haven't made money until I sell 3 of those decks.  But what if only 2 of them contain the really sought after cards?  Its a brutal ballancing act for R&D to make products like this exactly equally desirable to players and I think they hit the nail right on the head for casual players, but casual players aren't the only group out there. 

Competetive players are extremely willing to pay a premium to know what they are getting, and fairly unwilling to take a chance on random product.  So they love stuff like this.  They love to show up on the first day right when I open.  They love to buy up every copy of the deck with the good cards, thus denying casual players access to it.  They love to refuse to shop at my store again and spread negative word of mouth about me if I refuse to open a new case so they can get more of that deck.  Certainly people like that are in the wrong, but you really can't grasp the gravity of the old addage "the customer is always right" until you've been in a situtation where pleasing jerks is the difference between eating and going hungry.  I'd prefer WotC stop putting me in this position. 
The common solution to that among larger sellers is to raise the price on the in-demand one as soon as they can identify which it is. For example, CFB and SSG both sell the NPH event decks at $30 for the Stoneforge Mystic deck and $20 for the "other" one, or $40 for both. As a dealer, what's your feeling on that solution?

If you're on MTGO check out the Free Events via PDCMagic and Gatherling.

Other games you should try:
DC Universe Online - action-based MMO.  Free to play.  Surprisingly well-designed combat and classes.

Planetside 2 - Free to play MMO-meets-FPS and the first shooter I've liked in ages.
Simunomics - Free-to-play economy simulation game.

It would have been more Vorthoseish for the creature to gain all the abilities of both creatures, true. But I think it might have been a rules nightmare even doing it the ways people in this thread have suggested. And even if the rules are simple, the actual gameplay wouldn't be. Morph? Level up? Linked abilities? Characteristic-defining abilities? While the rules might be unambiguous on all that stuff (I have no idea, and overall I doubt it, but I wouldn't be too surprised either way), it would be very easy to create incredibly complicated situations in games.
Great article overall, and I like the design discussion. However, the preview was very anticlimactic. No discussion of possible card combos, or idealized hypothetical game states wherein this card is suddenly awesome?  Get players excited about the preview card itself, not just the set as a whole.  How about this?

I've got out Warped Devotion and Equilibrium, and my empty-handed opponent controls an Akroma, Angel of Wrath.  I cast The Mimeoplasm, targeting Akroma with Equilibrium.  Akroma returns to its owner's hand, and thanks to Warped Devotion, gets promptly discarded.  The Mimeoplasm then resolves, and copies Akroma for abilities and gets +1/+1 counters according to someone else's Mortivore.  Note also that both of those cards are exiled, and can't be later reanimated by my opponents.  Sure, quite a contrived example, but lots of fun!


That... looks like a good example of the confusing stuff I'm talking about. Isn't Mortivore  0/0 when it's not in play? Or is it? Any judges around here? And as unsure as I am about that, imagine how complicated gameplay would get if it had all the abilities of both cards. Your Akroma's size could be changed by exiling or reanimating cards from graveyards. Fun sometimes for some people, but very easily gets very confusing.

As for all the wedge color stuff, I'm hoping that we get a theme "wedge week" or something. Or maybe even one for each wedge, eventually. I remember when Ravnica was released there was a theme week for each guild, talking about its signature mechanic and what the two colors have in common and how they are opposed to each other and stuff. It might be interesting to read the same kind of thing about wedges. As for actual gold cards there aren't many in any wedge colors*, and most cards of one or two colors that mention the other colors of the wedge are designed to hose it. However, we're apparently getting a lot more of such cards soon, so it could be interesting to hear about the design (design, development, flavor, competitive power, etc.) of them. And besides, top-down design that puts three colors themselves all on one card is hardly the only appearances of wedges that matter. People have played wedges here and there since the game was new. Recently URG was a popular Constructed deck (which says something sad about the current Constructed metagame, since Jace is so good that you can throw him into a completely off-color aggressive deck and make it better, but that's not the point...). In Ravnica Limited, you basically had to play three colors, and there were some combinations that worked neatly when drafting one pack of each set, including at least one wedge: Boros-Izzet-Azorius.

What links each wedge together? The WBG wedge is easy: graveyards. They bring creatures back from the graveyard to the hand, to the top of the library, or to play, or regenerate to stop them from going to the graveyard entirely. The WBR wedge is a little harder, but I'd say it's based on board sweepers and symmetrical effects. Day of Judgment, Inferno, Consume the Meek... White likes to be "fair" and balance  everything, and black and red both like to kill everything for different reasons. As for the other three wedges, though, I'm having a hard time thinking of anything that ties them together. What weaknesses does each wedge have? What's the flavor of each like?

* Not counting stuff in the Commander decks, which we've only seen a fraction of so far anyway, the WBR wedge has two cards, URG has two, WBG has three, WUR has two, and UBG has two. That's a weak cycle of both creatures and enchantments from the Apocalypse expansion, the Planar Chaos dragons, and the Treefolk lord from Lorwyn. 11 cards, all rare, all but one from cycles, in the entire history of the game. That's not a lot.
I don't really like the idea of cards that you esentially have to buy up-front without the random factor thrown in.  With annoying cards like Jace that, for me, shut me out of Constructed Magic entirely, it's the players that determine the value of the card.  In this case, Wizards does that, thus ensuring a price cap for the card, but also making it difficult to pick up a playset of that whacky build-around-me rare no one likes for $1. 

With that said, I understand where Mark is coming from with wanting to make cards for a certain subset of players but not being able to fit them into a current set.  I'm a Limited player at heart, and sets need to cohesive to that end.  The other upside is that these cards CAN be played in constructed Magic.  The one thing I dislike about the annual fun gimmicky set is that they are self-contained and can't be put into a deck that you would bring to Friday Night Magic.  This solves that, and at least they are legendary so it slighly dissuades you from wanting 4 copies. 
Note that The Mime--- THERE'S A FREAKING TYRANNOSAURUS ON HIS ARM!---oplasm can hose opponent's graveyards. And if The Mim---A FREAKING TYRANNOSAURUS!---eoplasm ever dies, you can do this repeatedly, giving you a hideous amalgam of whatever horrors you can find among the graveyards of your foes using mill, discard, and your own efforts to find resources. (And Will, I meant Black, not Red, as I am sure was intended all along.)

The Mimeop---IT ACTUALLY IS HIS ARM!---lasm functions multiple roles, and has the chance to grow big, big, big. I see great effort focusing on using land cycling creatures, Mesmeric Orb, Life's Finale and kin, and lots of Regrow, just to enforce the card's structure itself. As mentioned before, a lot of small creatures get ridiculously strong when they are bigger, so getting fatties to dump counters onto double strikers, unblockables, untargetables, etc., becomes a deck to "work around" rather than people just putting it into the deck "because," like half of the Horde of Notions decks, which use it as a finisher, but not much more than that, and can frankly never cast it unlike most elemental-themed decks. This one is a lot more like Xiahou Dun, the One-Eyed, or Maga, Traitor to Mortals -- pure utility.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
Just one question for me:

 (I'd errata theNephilim to be legendary in a heartbeat if I was allowed to do such a thing.)


Why wouldn't you be allowed to?  Other cards have had their types errata'd in the past and it's not as if you're going to ruin their power level for legacy play.
That... looks like a good example of the confusing stuff I'm talking about. Isn't Mortivore  0/0 when it's not in play? Or is it?



Mortivore's ability is a characteristic-defining ability, so it's always active.  If Mortivore is in the graveyard, it'll even count itself.

Just one question for me:

 (I'd errata theNephilim to be legendary in a heartbeat if I was allowed to do such a thing.)


Why wouldn't you be allowed to?  Other cards have had their types errata'd in the past and it's not as if you're going to ruin their power level for legacy play.



They've often given creature type errata.  They've given card type or supertype errata when rules changes  necessitated it (e.g. when interrupts stopped existing in Sixth Edition, they changed all interrupts to card types and when world was made a supertype, they changed all "enchant world" cards to "world enchantment").

However, they've never given supertype errata just because they later decided a different supertype would be better.  This is why Aladdin and Sindbad still aren't legendary.  It would just be too big a functional change, and they don't want players to have to guess if a card is legendary or not.
It would have been more Vorthoseish for the creature to gain all the abilities of both creatures, true. But I think it might have been a rules nightmare even doing it the ways people in this thread have suggested.

willpell knows the rules pretty well (as do I). He was correct to avoid static abilities, because they could overlap in very brain-bending ways. But the way he did it would have worked from a rules perspective. Admittedly it would be very confusing to get triggered abilities but not static abilities.

That... looks like a good example of the confusing stuff I'm talking about. Isn't Mortivore  0/0 when it's not in play? Or is it? Any judges around here?

Nope. These days any */* creature's power and toughness are defined in all zones. (You'll note that this wasn't always the case; in particular, when the reminder text on Sutured Ghoul was written. That rules change made Sutured Ghoul rather better.

What links each wedge together? The WBG wedge is easy: graveyards. They bring creatures back from the graveyard to the hand, to the top of the library, or to play, or regenerate to stop them from going to the graveyard entirely. The WBR wedge is a little harder, but I'd say it's based on board sweepers and symmetrical effects. Day of Judgment, Inferno, Consume the Meek... White likes to be "fair" and balance  everything, and black and red both like to kill everything for different reasons. As for the other three wedges, though, I'm having a hard time thinking of anything that ties them together. What weaknesses does each wedge have? What's the flavor of each like?

I've done quite a bit of thinking about that, like several other amateur card designers. 

WGB has regeneration and reanimation, as you've mentioned, but also lifegain and +N/+N.
WBR has mass destruction, as you said, and also direct damage.
WRU has "gain control" effects (hm, although with the reprinting of Enslave, that may be more BRU), and also bounce - although white doesn't get to bounce the same things red does.
GUB are most affiliated with card-draw, and they're the colours that generally get "putting cards from the hand straight onto the battlefield".
RGU I couldn't come up with anything in common to those three colours but not W or B. I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts.

The other upside is that these cards CAN be played in constructed Magic.  The one thing I dislike about the annual fun gimmicky set is that they are self-contained and can't be put into a deck that you would bring to Friday Night Magic.  This solves that, and at least they are legendary so it slighly dissuades you from wanting 4 copies. 


Ah - you may be misinformed there. Unfortunately, the Commander cards aren't legal in any constructed format except Legacy/Vintage.
Competetive players are extremely willing to pay a premium to know what they are getting, and fairly unwilling to take a chance on random product.  So they love stuff like this.  They love to show up on the first day right when I open.  They love to buy up every copy of the deck with the good cards, thus denying casual players access to it.  They love to refuse to shop at my store again and spread negative word of mouth about me if I refuse to open a new case so they can get more of that deck.  Certainly people like that are in the wrong, but you really can't grasp the gravity of the old addage "the customer is always right" until you've been in a situtation where pleasing jerks is the difference between eating and going hungry.  I'd prefer WotC stop putting me in this position. 



Simple solution. As soon as you figure out which precon has the Jitte in it, charge double for that one. The competitive players will still pay for it. They may give you some attitude (don't they always?), but you're in the right. Just tell them that you know why they want it, and that it's clearly in demand at that price. They'll admit it and buy it. Actually, you're going to lose the first customer. He's going to go to Walmart and buy them out. But then poachers 2-9 belong to you.

And if someone you like walks into your store you can say "Oh, for you, those are all the same price." =)

Phyrexian Dreadnought anyone? Play it, dont pay the cost, its 12 points of power in the Bin. Combine with something with tons of Keywords, and - blammo! - huge Creature.

Or just, you know, Blighted Agent.

I like this card very much. I'm only not too much of a fan of the art, but we can't get anything perfectly according to our personal preferences, right?
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56747598 wrote:
57295478 wrote:
Although I do assume you deliberately refer to them (DCI) as The Grand Imperial Convocation of Evil just for the purposes of making them sound like an ancient and terrible conspiracy.
Now, now. 1994 doesn't quite qualify as "ancient".
56734518 wrote:
Oh, it's a brilliant plan. You see, Bolas was travelling through shadowmoor, causing trouble, when he saw a Wickerbough Elder with its stylin' dead scarecrow hat. Now, Bolas being Bolas took the awesome hat and he put it on his head, but even with all his titanic powers of magic he couldn't make it fit. He grabbed some more scarecrows, but then a little kithkin girl asked if he was trying to build a toupee. "BY ALL THE POWERS IN THE MULTIVERSE!" he roared, "I WILL HAVE A HAT WORTHY OF MY GLORY." and so he went through his Dark Lore of Doom (tm) looking for something he could make into a hat that would look as stylish on him as a scarecrow does on a treefolk. He thought about the Phyrexians, but they were covered in goopy oil that would make his nonexistant hair greasy. He Tried out angels for a while but they didn't sit quite right. Then, he looked under "e" (because in the Elder Draconic alphabet, "e" for Eldrazi is right next to "h" for Hat) in his Dark Lore of Doom and saw depictions of the Eldrazi, and all their forms. "THIS SHALL BE MY HAT!" he declared, poking a picture of Emrakul, "AND WITH IT I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF DARKNESS -- ER, I MEAN A NEW AGE OF FASHION!" And so Nicol Bolas masterminded the release of the Eldrazi.
57864098 wrote:
Rhox War Monk just flips pancakes, and if games have told us anything, it's that food = life.
56747598 wrote:
76973988 wrote:
This thread has gotten creepy. XP
Really? Really? The last couple days have been roughly every perverse fetish imaginable, but it only got "creepy" when speculation on Mother of Runes's mob affiliation came up?
76672808 wrote:
57864098 wrote:
57531048 wrote:
Nice mana base. Not really.
Yeah, really. If my deck was going to cost $1000+, I'd at least make it good.
99812049 wrote:
I like to think up what I consider clever names for my decks, only later to be laughed at by my wife. It kills me a little on the inside, but thats what marriage is about.
56816728 wrote:
56854588 wrote:
Of course, the best use [of tolaria west] is transmuting for the real Tolaria. ;)
Absolutely. I used to loose to my buddy's Banding deck for ages, it was then that I found out about Tolaria, and I was finally able win my first game.
70246459 wrote:
WOAH wait wait wait
56957928 wrote:
You know, being shallow and jusdgmental aside, "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
"I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people"
56957928 wrote:
Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates
56957928 wrote:
OH MY GOD
109874309 wrote:
The only way I'd cast this card is into a bonfire.
82032421 wrote:
The short answer is that there's no rule barring annoying people from posting, but there a rule barring us from harassing them about it.
56747598 wrote:
Browbeat is a card that is an appropriate deck choice when there's no better idea available. "No better idea available" was pretty much the running theme of Odyssey era.
56874518 wrote:
Or perhaps it was a more straightforward comment indicating a wish for you to be bitten (Perhaps repeatedly) by a small yet highly venomous arachnid.
70246459 wrote:
58280208 wrote:
You're an idiot, and I'm in no mood for silliness.
57817638 wrote:
57145078 wrote:
You just... Vektor it.
That's the answer to everything.
70246459 wrote:
58347268 wrote:
I think the problem is that you don't exist.
This would sound great out of context!
56965458 wrote:
Modern is like playing a new tournament every time : you build a deck, you win with it, don't bother keeping it. Just build another, its key pieces will get banned.
57864098 wrote:
57309598 wrote:
I specifically remember posting a thread when I was just a witty bitty noob.
You make it sound like that's still not the case.
58325628 wrote:
Rap is what happens when the c from crap is taken away.
Doug Beyer:
But sometimes it's also challenging. Because sometimes OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING?
141434757 wrote:
Flashforward five thousand years (Click for atmosphere) :
57927608 wrote:
to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, Vektor finds a way.
58347268 wrote:
when in rome **** AND PILLAGE
143229641 wrote:
I always find it helpful when im angry to dress up in an owl costume and rub pennies all over my body in front of a full body mirror next to the window.
Dymecoar:
Playing Magic without Blue is like sleeping without any sheets or blankets. You can do it...but why?
Omega137:
Me: "I love the moment when a control deck stabilizes. It feels so... right." Omega137: "I like the life drop part until you get there, it's the MtG variant of bungee jumping"
Zigeif777:
Just do it like Yu-Gi-Oh or monkeys: throw all the crap you got at them and hope it works or else the by-standers (or opponents) just get dirty and pissed.
57471038 wrote:
58258708 wrote:
It's true that Alpha and Beta didn't contain any cards like Tarmogoyf, Darksteel Colossus, or Platinum Angel. It just contained weak, insignificant cards like Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, and Time Walk.
Normally it's difficult to pick up on your jokes/sarcasm. But this one's pretty much out there. Good progress. You have moved up to Humanoid. You'll be Human in no time.
91893448 wrote:
94618431 wrote:
I didn't know Samurai were known to be able to cut down whole armies...
They can when they're using lightsabers!
57129358 wrote:
97980259 wrote:
My wife brought home a baby black squirrel they found on a horse track and cared for it for a few days. We named it Grixis, but it died.
Unearth it!
70246459 wrote:
[/spoiler] And I'm on Magic Arcana. How about you? Oh, by the way, I'm also on From the Lab now. Twice, actually. And now with my own submited decklist!
I don't have a general problem with printing non-booster product like this, as long as it's made available for a decent amount of time. There's already been examples posted in this thread of certain duel decks and such flying off the shelves while the others gather dust. I love buying "boxed" product like this (I have all the Duel Decks and Planechase, though I haven't picked up the Archenemy decks yet), but $30 a pop for these, they'll have to be spread out. If I pick the wrong one to buy last, I may end up being out of luck. 

There really needs to be a better way of re-printing things like this (and those old cards that came with the books while you're at it). Some sort of box like the Deckbuilder's Toolkit would be great.


Also, will we be seeing the wedge tri-color lands to complete the Alara tri-land cycle? (I think I might get a little annoyed if these do show up in this box instead of a regular booster product.)  
Proud member of C.A.R.D. - Campaign Against Rare Duals "...but the time has come when lands just need to be better. Creatures have gotten stronger, spells have always been insane, and lands just sat in this awkward place of necessity." Jacob Van Lunen on the refuge duals, 16 Sep 2009. "While it made thematic sense to separate enemy and allied color fixing in the past, we have come around to the definite conclusion that it is just plain incorrect from a game-play perspective. This is one of these situations where game play should just trump flavor." - Sam Stoddard on ending the separation of allied/enemy dual lands. 05 July 2013
When trying to figure out what mechanics tie the wedges together I would look at what the base color is and how the other two interact with it.  GUR being my favorite, I think it is tied together with spell duplication a la Twincast, Reverberate and Wort, the Raidmother, and library manipulation a la Sylvan Library, Ponder and Riddle of Lightning.

 I am salivating at the thought of what the two new legends for this wedge will do.  Intet has a very fun and functional effect but she has become so predictable on the table.


We may not have wedge lands yet but we have something close: Irrigation Ditch (cycle)  I wouldn't mind if they stuck with the elder dragon theme from the lair lands and just printed the wedges: Darigaaz's Caldera, Rith's Grove etc.
I'm excited about this product and plan to buy at least 1 of each precon.

That said, the con of which you speak is a concern to me as well.  I hope to be able to pick up each for the MSRP of $30.  I get a sneaking suspicion that if I wait any length of time after the release, I won't.  The secondary market for Magic cards is a cruel place that Wizards has very little say in, and I grudgingly accept that.  Unfortunately, the secondary market is too often the only place I can find premier Magic product.  I too am guilty of possibly wanting several copies of one of these given decks if it has a singleton of a card that I desperately want for any of my other decks or cube, heaven help me if I want a playset of it.  I don't want to be unable to reach that goal because the price of that given precon shot up to $50+.  $200 is more than I'm willing to pay toward an entire deck, much less 4 cards for one.

I bought 1 of each Planechase and 1 of each Archenemy precon as well.  Filled out my playsets (2 per) of schemes via Ebay, and begged, borrowed, and stole (not really stole) the max playable copies of each of the promos released for each variant.  I just discovered yesterday that 2 more schemes have recently been released unbeknownst to me, despite being a regular Daily MTG reader.  Back to Ebay I go, a sad and slightly poorer man.

In an unrelated note, why are some colored pairs so much stronger (at least obviously) than others?  For a quick example I go to my cube.  I allow for 4 non-sliver cards in each gold 2 color combination.  GW has Novablast Wurm, Behemoth Sledge, Gaddock Teeg, and Mirari's Wake, with a list a mile long of other potential candidates.  WB has Angel of Despair, Tidehollow Sculler, Mortify, and Vindicate, with a few more on the cusp of inclusion.  BG has Pernicious Deed, Maelstrom Pulse, Lord of Extinction, and Putrefy, with again several other great candidates wishing they had a spot.  With potential such as these is there's any wonder why people want more GWB generals?  Whereas with combinations such as UR I'm forced to settle with Suffocating Blast, Jhoira of the Ghitu, Gelectrode, and Izzet Chronarch in my cube as the creme-de-la-creme (I just don't like Electrolyze as I can't justify paying 3 for a spreadable shock with cantrip).  Why the power differentiation?  Is it due to flavor?  Is it due to limited design space in certain color combinations?
Are we doing the right thing? I'll be honest in saying that I think so, but I'm not 100%. The thing I do know, though, is that the key to keeping Magic healthy long term is the willingness of R&D to try things out. As I often like to say, the greatest risk to Magic is taking no risks. I'm very curious to hear the feedback to today's column, because I'd love to hear what all of you think about having new cards in a non-booster product. Is this something we should do more of? I'm very curious to your feedback.

Sure! As long as the product is easy to get and the cards aren't tournament-viable (so that they're reasonably cheap on the secondary market). I'm all for more multiplayer-focused cards.


I'm a bit sad that you can't just pick up the Commander decks and use them to play Archenemy. Join force, Death by Dragons and other political cards would be devastating for the archenemy.




I have to agree with our fellow - printing new cards in a non-booster product sounds great but how about the tournaments? Is there any chance, even a remote one that someday CMD become a tournament-legal product? I remember what happened with the Portal series years ago. 


In Brazil, Commander cards shall figure in a very limited market (the same that ever happened with other products as FTV or Duel Decks or Planechase . . . : there are very few available and due taxes and import rates they had become expensive for most of the ordinary players).


I can imagine a great mess in the Brazilian market if a possible top card for Standard and/or Legacy shall appear in a non-booster product not-released in Brazil like NPH booster for example – specially a rare or mythic card. This concerns me.    


That’s all! =)



I'm excited because aside from Karador (cheaper with crits in the bin, lets you cast from the bin), Skullbriar hits all the right numbers:

The name is a winner.
It comes out of the gate turn 2 running, when most people are setting up.
It loves to die and yet discourages the typical destroy effects.
It's in the colors of the Savra, Queen of the Golgari+Gravepact combo, which just easily allows you to clear its way to kill on General damage. (Most of my Generals tend to be enablers with the exception of Akroma, who's just a fatty finisher when the board is stabilized.)
The slight rule-bender of its final ability will force players to stretch themselves to deal with it, thus allowing me more ease to deal with players in unconventional fashion (not just zombies, but proliferate, which includes enablers Skully likes).

I like The Mi---HOLY CRAP! TYRANNOSAURS!!---meoplasm, too, and largely for many of the same reasons, although it tends to the utility rather than the super-beater I envision Skully to be.
"Possibilities abound, too numerous to count." "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969) "Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion Backs)
In regards to the question in your article, "Are we doing the right thing? / Is this something we should do more of?" 

As far as in making MTG Commander precons a quality product worthy of our $30, yes.  A resounding yes. 
How much of your customer-base will take that MTG Commander product and play with it as is beyond day of purchase though?

As far as adding a new resource to Magic as a game, yes. 
I have little doubt that you sought to make the new cards playable (if not good), and as such these playable cards will create value as I'd imagine supply is more limited than a typical set release.

As far as helping Magic thrive as a game with new content accessible to all of its players?  Ask me again in a few months when the StarCityGames prices settle, as I honestly have no clue.
Are we doing the right thing? I'll be honest in saying that I think so, but I'm not 100%. The thing I do know, though, is that the key to keeping Magic healthy long term is the willingness of R&D to try things out. As I often like to say, the greatest risk to Magic is taking no risks. I'm very curious to hear the feedback to today's column, because I'd love to hear what all of you think about having new cards in a non-booster product. Is this something we should do more of? I'm very curious to your feedback.

Sure! As long as the product is easy to get and the cards aren't tournament-viable (so that they're reasonably cheap on the secondary market). I'm all for more multiplayer-focused cards.


I'm a bit sad that you can't just pick up the Commander decks and use them to play Archenemy. Join force, Death by Dragons and other political cards would be devastating for the archenemy.



I'm pretty sure tournament viability doesn't really matter that much because I don't think any of them will be legal in any tournaments until they're reprinted. The only problem is: how good will they be in Casual? Likely, pretty good, because otherwise they wouldn't get printed.

Great article overall, and I like the design discussion.  However, the preview was very anticlimactic.  No discussion of possible card combos, or idealized hypothetical game states wherein this card is suddenly awesome?  Get players excited about the preview card itself, not just the set as a whole.  How about this?

I've got out Warped Devotion and Equilibrium, and my empty-handed opponent controls an Akroma, Angel of Wrath.  I cast The Mimeoplasm, targeting Akroma with Equilibrium.  Akroma returns to its owner's hand, and thanks to Warped Devotion, gets promptly discarded.  The Mimeoplasm then resolves, and copies Akroma for abilities and gets +1/+1 counters according to someone else's Mortivore.  Note also that both of those cards are exiled, and can't be later reanimated by my opponents.  Sure, quite a contrived example, but lots of fun!



This is a design column, not a play column. Mark never really talks a lot about how to play the thing. He just uses it to illustrate a point, or to show off something cool.

What links each wedge together? The WBG wedge is easy: graveyards. They bring creatures back from the graveyard to the hand, to the top of the library, or to play, or regenerate to stop them from going to the graveyard entirely. The WBR wedge is a little harder, but I'd say it's based on board sweepers and symmetrical effects. Day of Judgment, Inferno, Consume the Meek... White likes to be "fair" and balance  everything, and black and red both like to kill everything for different reasons. As for the other three wedges, though, I'm having a hard time thinking of anything that ties them together. What weaknesses does each wedge have? What's the flavor of each like?



I've been thinking a lot about this as well. Beyond the black wedge, I also got the blue wedge, which is linked by cloning. Green clones tokens (Rhys the Redeemed, Dual Nature), Red clones spells Reverberate, Fork, Blue clones both creatures and spells.
76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
Are we doing the right thing? I'll be honest in saying that I think so, but I'm not 100%. The thing I do know, though, is that the key to keeping Magic healthy long term is the willingness of R&D to try things out. As I often like to say, the greatest risk to Magic is taking no risks. I'm very curious to hear the feedback to today's column, because I'd love to hear what all of you think about having new cards in a non-booster product. Is this something we should do more of? I'm very curious to your feedback.


Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: As long as the product is generally available so that casual players with less means of obtaining product have as much of a chance to get in on the fun of the game itself as the players with more budgetary means, then yes, your product is good for the game as a whole.  Another factor of this is that with the singleton nature of this product and dedication to making each deck fun and powerful (by including Sol Ring in each deck, for example), you've ensured that anyone can pick up a deck with their favorite color combinations and get the mythic-rare level cards in addition to all the necessary support cards and it's not just a grab for chase rares to resell on the secondary market.  I fully hope that more tertiary products like this happen in the future.

56866188 wrote:
I knew the attempt to "make the game simpler and more [accessible] to new players" would get forgotten and it sure didn't take long. Gary Adkison
I love any article that makes me run to Gatherer when it's done. Thanks, MaRo. :P

Death's Shadow looks wonderful here, and appropriately colored to boot. Correct me if I'm wrong, but he and Fungal Behemoth would make an easy 26/26 creature (without having to load your deck with expensive unusable cards). I think I'll be poking around Gatherer for a while, thanks to this one...
This guy is sooooo good with buried alive.
Yes, I like.

I like Mimeoplasm, as I like the other previewed generals. I like that WotC are making casual/fun/multiplayer products and I think it is right that these receive cards that are specifically designed for those envrionments and that are not tournament legal (well, apart from eternal formats). I think this is very, very good. I am excited and want to buy and play these pre-cons. And I am not the sort of person who buys pre-cons.

But I think MaRo phrased the question in an awkawrdly general manner: "Are we doing the right thing?"

With this Commander thing, yes, I think you are. But as far as including new cards in core sets goes, I think you are doing a horrible mistake. Core sets are really boring products frankly. I don't want to play limited with them, I don't want to open them. Including new cards in core sets forces me to choose to either:
a) buying product that I really don't want to buy
b) stop playing competitive tournament Magic

I chose b)
Simple as that.

I worked much better when the purpose of core sets was to keep some cards from the past legal for standard and extended, without having to reprint those cards in the new expansions. Ok, so this is coming from someone who has a pretty extensive Magic collection, who has a copy (often a playset) of a majority of the cards printed in the history of Magic, who could in the past simply dig out the "new" inclusions of a new core sets from a dusty drawer. Otherwise, I hate core sets. They are utterly, utterly boring. Being forced to purchase them or the cards in them is a big deal for me - in fact, its a deal braker, culling my interest in Magic overall, which has cut my spending on Magic cards to about 5% of what it used to be.